Hello! Hello! Hello! Welcome to Inspiration for Innovation. The blog of the i4 Studio – Buffalo’s Idea Lab

The i4 Studio is a creative space where new ideas are born and then applied for the purpose of making the world a better place to live, work and play. Located at the Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the i4 Studio is Buffalo’s hub for creative thinking. i4 Studio was created to stimulate imagination, inspiration, ideation and innovation.

The official launch of the i4 Studio was February 28 where close to 200 people stopped by to say hello and see the space. You are receiving this because you attended the launch event or you are a friend of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

We have some very exciting things happening like our new web-site: www.i4studiobuffalo.com

On the web-site you will find:

Our intention is to publish Inspiration for Innovation monthly. In it we will share practical creativity tools that you can apply immediately. Don’t worry, the blog will be easy to read and understand, and best of all short. And, for your reading pleasure, we have a quick creativity tip for your summer beach reading.

A number of years ago, a study was done on the reading habits of scientists. Researchers grouped the scientists into three categories. The first group was labeled “innovative”; these scientists exhibited the highest creative productivity as measured by patents. The second group was labeled “productive”; these scientists were known for being technically proficient. The third group was labeled “slugs”; they were neither innovative nor productive. The researchers found that “slugs” read almost nothing.

The “productive” scientists read almost exclusively in their field, while the “innovative” scientists (who were not always as technically up-to-date as their “productive” colleagues) read in a variety of fields. In fact, a great deal of the latter group’s reading was outside of their area of expertise. These scientists read everything from science fiction to technical journals, from Popular Mechanics to Psychology Today, and therefore enjoyed a much richer storehouse of information from which to generate new concepts.

In other words, you can read all the technical stuff in your field to find out what’s going on. But to spot the trends of the future and to get new information that will help you get creative, you need to read OUTSIDE of your area.

Not going to make it to the beach or relax in the hammock in the back yard? Then listen to podcasts and audio books. But don’t choose topics that that focus solely on your business. Consciously look for topics that you might be peripherally interested in. Look for subjects that you are just curious about. Then get ready to record those new ideas. Dictate them into your smart phone so you can review them later. You might be surprised at the new ideas you get that can actually help your business when you follow your curiosity. Happy Reading!

Roger L. Firestien, Ph.D.


The i4 Studio provides 4 basic services.

  • Training in Creative Thinking – Teaching you and your team how to integrate creativity into your natural work flow.
  • Idea Labs where you bring your toughest business or scientific challenge and we assemble a group of trained brains, who are industry experts and are highly trained in creative problem solving to help you create breakthroughs.
  • Vision and Strategic Planning – Helping you to create a vision, and a path to accomplishing your goals
  • Custom Programs where you bring us a challenge or opportunity that you are facing and we work with you to design a program that creates breakthroughs.

i4 Studio is a collaboration between Vic Nole, Director of Business Development for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. and Roger Firestien, a senior faculty member of the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC). Part of SUNY Buffalo State and the first program to offer the science of creativity at the graduate level, ICSC is globally recognized for its programs that cultivate skills in creative thinking, innovative leadership practices and problem solving skills.